I like driving irons as they are the purest form of hybrid for me. You have the shape and style of an iron with the larger hollow head of a small wood.
However to be fair most of them are fairly one-dimensional and that is why more wood style hybrids have become more popular. These are easier to hit and launch it higher, which is important as it has to land at a steep enough angle to hold the green.
The iron hybrid still has its place as an option for high swing speed players or for those who like to use a iron for position off the tee on tight or firm golf course and this is where the Titleist 716 T-MB hybrid iron comes in.
It succeeds the Titleist 712U iron which has been going strong for 4 years now. Like the previous model the 716 T-MB is a hollow, stainless steel cast iron and this moves the CG back a little to give it a higher launch than the MB 716 and CB 716 irons.
The head length is similar to the AP2 716, but the face is not as tall and in that respect it is closer to the MB 716, hence the MB in the name.
It is a reasonable size, but maybe something a little larger between AP2 and AP1 would make this iron appeal to more players.
It features a similar high curve muscle back to get more weight behind the impact zone and like most of the other irons in the 716 range, Titleist has added tungsten into the sole.
At first glance it looks like they have added a huge wad of it across the sole represented by the bronze coloured section, but rest assured that is just for visual effect.
The 80g of tungsten is in fact in the heel and toe of the head on the inside to lower the CG and increase the MOI to make the head less resistant to twisting.
At impact it did feel good and I could best describe it as a blade like and marginally sharper than the AP2, but not quite as good as the CB.
The forgiveness was also similar to the AP2 so if you had the MB or CB set and wanted some extra forgiveness in your longer irons then the choice would be between T-MB and AP2.
There are initially four lofts in a number 2 (17°) to 5 (26°) which are 1° stronger than the 712U due to the higher launch and these should match up with well with the MB, CB or AP2 sets.
The flight was a little lower than AP2 so this is going to be for better players who have enough ball speed to get the right launch conditions if you are using it for approaching greens. Otherwise the T-MB 2-iron will be an excellent driving iron for fast links courses.
Therefore this is really going to come down to whether the Titleist 716 T-MB fits in your set make up and suits your game and your local Titleist fitter will help you there. I can see it being more of a specialist play as single figure players could just as easily get the same or better performance with more forgiveness from an AP1 or an 816 Hybrid.
As ever, the choice is yours.